I saw the trailer and decided I would need to see this film. Not least because I am compelled to watch almost all comedies (the good, the bad and the ugly!) but because Kevin Hart was in it. The last movie I saw him in was 'Ride Along' which I really found entertaining and I have also seen him in the BET TV show 'The Real Husbands of Hollywood'.
I wasn't sure about this, I thought it might have been quite bad and this assumption was based on Will Ferrell. Now, I know plenty of people are huge fans of him but I'm never quite convinced, and if I am honest I find him a little creepy like Gene Wilder. The trailer though had persuaded me that it might be funny and so I happily went along last Friday on release day.
Ok, so the storyline is this....a rich white guy (Will Ferrell) is charged with Fraud and due to go to prison in 30 days and he asks a struggling black guy (Kevin Hart) to help him prepare for life in prison (and he will pay him £30k) but Kevin Harts character Darnell has never been to prison....cue a lifetimes supply of prison cliche's. Eventually, instead of preparing Will Ferrells character James for prison they find evidence to clear his name and everyone lives happily ever after.
[ADULATION & ABERRATION]
It was funny. It started funny, was funny in the middle and ended funny. A success in my book. My favourite bits...when James is practicing his trash talk, when Darnell recalls how he ended up in prison (courtesy of Boyz N the Hood) and when Darnell is playing three prison yard characters during training. There was a lot of silliness but I liked it.
I wasn't expecting to be moved emotionally by the story, and its flimsiness is standard comedy style, there was a fair amount of cheesiness which you always have with cliches of which this film just leaps from one to the next to the other. Maybe it is my Dave Franco love but his girlfriend Alison Brie is in the film as James' fiance and at one point she is telling him to 'give it to her' or words to that effect and her whole style reminded me of Franco and I wondered if he had influenced her performance. I also thought that her role was so insignificant and that it could have been played by anyone really and I think she deserved a better role than that or at least her performance needed to be less forgettable.
I find comedies hard to score in comparison to dramas or action and maybe I need to score differently depending on genre. However, I would like to see it again and I would give it 7/10. IMDb gave it 7.2/10. Metascore 33% and Rotten Tomatoes 32%. The verdict, the critics hated it but the people who watched it for fun loved it!